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By: Sipi Gupta | January 23, 2020

Most of us think about taking care of our aging parents or spouse when they’re older, and not our kids. But long-term care of adults with disabilities is the next crisis facing Americans.  Ask any of the more than 39.8 million  Until that time, however, you will hear parents asking themselves: What happens when I am no longer able to care for my child?

 

Here at Gupta Law, parents of children with special needs are strongly urged to begin planning AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.  Special needs planning is a daunting task that has overwhelmed parents and clients for years.  And the Firm’s New Year’s gift to you is a breakdown of the steps and documents you need to best position your adult children with disabilities for lif...

By: Sipi Gupta | January 13, 2020

Today, most courts find that a parent has a duty to support an adult child who is unable (as opposed to unwilling) to support himself. Sometimes this is based on a court’s interpretation of an applicable statute. Other times there is no statute on point and the court instead relies on the decisions of courts in prior cases. Occasionally, if the court has no supporting statutory or case law on which to rely, the court will forge ahead and base its decision on its interpretation of the historical common law relating to parental duties.

A small number of courts around the country have held that a parent has no duty to support an adult child who cannot support herself. This minority position usually results from a court relying on a statute that...

By: Sipi Gupta | January 13, 2020

Long-term care insurance is a specific type of insurance product that helps people cover the cost of long-term care beyond a predetermined period.  But it’s not the only way to pay for in-home care, adult day care, assisted living or a nursing home.

 

Short-term care insurance is an alternative to long-term care insurance that provides good coverage for those in need of long-term care.  Not only are they less expensive, but they may also be available to older seniors or those who aren't otherwise eligible for long-term coverage. Short-term care insurance policies (also known as recovery care or convalescent care policies) will offer between $50 to $300 per day of long-term care coverage for 180 to 360 days.  You choose t...

By: Sipi Gupta | October 14, 2019

What happens to your Facebook account when you die?  What electronic media did you use today?

 

All of the different online accounts that you use are your digital assets, and they challenge traditional estate planning approaches.  The Revised Uniform Access to Digital Assets Act (RUFADAA), revising the Uniform Access to Digital Assets Act and developed by the Uniform Law Commission, establishes rules and regulations surrounding digital account ownership. 

 

According to a recent McAfee survey, the average individual has over $35,000 worth of assets stored on his or her devices.[1]  Such assets include personal memories (photos, videos, and the like), personal records (like health, financial, and estate plannin...

By: Sipi Gupta | September 22, 2019

A: No.  Here's what you need to know:

  • Under GN 00204.003 of the POMS, if an applicant cannot file for benefits because of a lack of capacity, then someone else can file for that person.
  • In that case, a physician should complete SSA Form 787 certifying that the claimant doesn't have capacity to apply for benefits.  Form SSA 787 is not currently available on the official SSA.gov Web site and should be obtained from the local SSA office.
  • SSA will accept this as evidence of incapacity and allow a 10-day period for the claimant to object.  
  • If there is no objection, then the application is processed by the SSA.
Under this procedure, guardianship is not required.


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By: Sipi Gupta | September 16, 2019

If you're enrolled in the Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) Program and get a bill for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments, here are three things to do:

Tell the provider or debt collector that you have QMB and can’t be charged for Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and copayments. Show your provider your Medicaid or QMB card every time you get medical services or items. If you already made payments on a bill for services and items Medicare covers, you have the right to a refund.

If the medical provider won’t stop billing you, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227). TTY users can call 1-877-486-2048. The agent can confirm that you have QMB. Medicare can also ask the provider to stop improper billing, and refund any incorre...

By: Sipi Gupta | September 13, 2019

Although special needs planning can seem overwhelming, it is important to begin identifying what your son or daughter will need throughout his or her life and the what-ifs for when you are no longer there.


Step 1: What Will Be Needed?

  • A future needs assessment taking into consideration your child's disability and anticipated resources - either from public programs like Medicaid and SSI or through private funds. 
  • Tracking regular and intermittent expenses to give you a baseline that includes the costs associated with your child's day-to-day living
  • Contact nonprofits for people with disabilities that offer support and education as well as the invaluable opportunity to connect with and learn from the experiences of others.  
  • Get a...

By: Sipi Gupta | September 02, 2019

For more of the latest news and information, follow @sipiguptalaw on Facebook and Instagram and @sipigupta on LinkedIn.  Below is a sampling of recent posts.


Law Guides Public Use of Service Dogs

Businesses are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to permit access by service animals.


Making Medical Decisions for Someone Else

Making medical choices for another person is a weighty responsibility. Read suggested considerations when making such decisions.


Youth Nursing Homes for Children With Disabilities

Learn about the various placement and childcare options for children with profound disabilities.

By: Sipi Gupta | August 30, 2019

Serving as a trustee requires administrative and technical skills in addition to strong interpersonal communication skills. Identifying the appropriate trustee is difficult in general; a Special Needs Trust (SNT) presents additional challenges. While most families will name a relative to serve as the trustee of their family’s SNT, they are often unaware of the specialized knowledge needed to succeed in the role. In many cases, it makes sense to have a family member involved in some capacity in the care of the individual with special needs. Another option is to select a professional trustee with specialized skills to serve as the trustee or co-trustee.

Ideal Qualities for a Trustee

In considering trustees to name for your SNT, evaluate your al...

By: Sipi Gupta | August 24, 2019

As your parents age, they may spend months or years in a nursing facility. What happens if one of them is in need of long-term care and is unable to pay for it?  Currently, 28 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico have filial responsibility laws holding adult children legally responsible for support of financially strapped parents.


Pennsylvania has captured the most attention, due to a case, HCRA v. Pittas (2012 Pa. Super 96, May 7, 2012), in which an adult son was found liable for his mother’s $93,000 nursing home bill following an automobile accident. 


Maryann Pittas, the victim of a car accident, was a patient in a nursing home for about six months. A few weeks after she was released, her son received the nurs...

By: Sipi Gupta | August 16, 2019

A guardianship proceeding can be very expensive, very time consuming, and very emotionally and physically draining—for the person who needs a guardian and the family members as well. This is because:

(1) A court petition must be filed.

(2) All interested parties must be served with notice.

(3) A court hearing must be held to review medical testimony and determine the capacity of the alleged incapacitated person.

(4) Guardians must be nominated and appointed.


With the increasing mobility of American families, the need to transfer guardianships between states is on the upswing. A new job (or military assignment), supports that better meet the ward’s needs, or even a more favorable climate are among the many motivations.


The Uniform Adult Guardians...

By: Sipi Gupta | August 06, 2019

A power of attorney and a guardianship are tools that help someone act in your stead if you become incapacitated. With a power of attorney, you choose who you want to act for you. In a guardianship proceeding, the court chooses who will act as guardian.


Power of attorney

A power of attorney is an estate planning document that allows a person you appoint to act in place of you for financial and/or health purposes when and if you ever become incapacitated. You may limit a power of attorney to a very specific transaction or you may grant full power to someone over all of your affairs. For more information about powers of attorney, click here.


Guardianship


If an adult becomes incapable of making responsible decisions due to a mental disability, the...

By: Sipi Gupta | July 09, 2019

Prior to ABLE, one of the only tools available to put money away for savings was a special needs trust. While SNTs remain great options for settlement proceeds, inheritances, and large gifts, etc., ABLE accounts can be used for smaller, more modest sums.  ABLE dramatically increases your ability to save money while retaining your health care and other benefits. The accounts are easy to set up, and easy to administer.  Click here for a very special webinar covering ABLE, SSI/SSD, and special education for your kid.

By: Sipi Gupta | July 08, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at QDWI.

Qualified Disabled Working Individual

Benefit: Medicaid benefit; pays Medicare Part A premiums
Asset Limit: $4,000 single; $6,000 couple
Income Limit: 200% of FPG ($4,249 single; $5,722 couple)

By: Sipi Gupta | July 01, 2019

 

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at QI.

Qualified Individual (MSP)

Benefit:  Medicaid benefit; pays Medicare Part B premiums for people not otherwise eligible for Medicaid

Asset Limit: $7,730 single; $11,600 couple

Income Limit:  135% of FPG ($1,426 single; $1,923 couple)

By: Sipi Gupta | June 24, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at SLMB.

Specified Low-Income Medicare Beneficiary

Benefit:  Medicaid benefit; pays Medicare Part B premiums

Asset Limit: $7,730 single; $11,600 couple

Income Limit:  120% of FPG ($1,269 single; $1,711 couple)


By: Sipi Gupta | June 17, 2019

 

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at QMB.

Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (MSP)

Benefit:  Medicaid benefit; pays Medicare premiums, Medicare co-pays, and deductibles

Asset Limit: $7,730 single; $11,600 couple

Income Limit:  100% of FPG ($1,061 single; $1,430 couple)

By: Sipi Gupta | June 10, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at MSP.

Medicare Savings Program

Benefit:  Medicaid programs to help low-income Medicare beneficiaries (QMB, SLMB, etc.)

Asset Limit: Yes

Income Limit:  Yes

Comments: Must be receiving SSDI, CDB, or 65+.  SNT may preserve eligibility if excess assets as with other Medicaid programs

 

By: Sipi Gupta | June 03, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at Medicaid.

Benefit:  Health insurance for individuals who elderly, have a disability, or are low-income

Asset Limit:  Yes; varies with specific program; most programs use same asset limit as SSI program

Income Limit:  Varies by state and Medicaid program; income can reduce benefit.  

Comments:  First-party SNT will protect as...

By: Sipi Gupta | May 27, 2019

There are many federal government benefit programs available to individuals with disabilities. Programs are often referred to by confusing acronyms (LIHEAP, SNAP, QMB, to name just a few) and some programs are very different but sound similar (for instance, Medicare and Medicaid or SSI and SSDI). Stop in each week for a spotlight on a different benefit program. Today, we take a look at Medicare.


Benefit:  Health insurance for recipients of social security retirement income and their spouse, SSDI, and CDB

Asset Limit:  None

Income Limit:  None

Comments: Medicare benefits do not start until 24 months after receipt of SSDI or CDB.  Retirees must be 65+

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